Central Lakes, Dunedin - South Otago, Southland, Waitaki > Dentistry > Southern District Health Board (Southern DHB) >

Southern DHB Community Oral Health Service

General Dentist Service


We offer free basic preventive, treatment and specialist oral care to children that meet our eligibility criteria for publicly funded health care.

Getting oral and dental health off to a good start is an important part of ongoing good health and well-being.

Enrol your child

Free basic dental care is available to New Zealand children and includes:

  • Annual Checkups
  • Oral Health advice and encouragement for good oral health
  • Examination and dental X-rays, if necessary
  • Preventative treatment, such as topical fluoride and fissure sealants (coatings)
  • Restorations (fillings) and extractions

Children will receive checks from the community dental service. Our dental buses visit locations across the district.

Who is eligible for free basic oral and dental care?

Basic oral and dental care is available to children who are in the care of:

  • A NZ Citizen or permanent resident
  • An Australian Citizen or Australian permanent resident or an Australian planning to live in NZ permanently.
  • An interim visa holder
  • A refugee, or protected person or survivor  of people trafficking
  • A NZ Aid programme student
  • Is in the care or control of the chief executive of The Ministry of Social Development.

To find a provider, click on the area nearest you:

Waitaki - ŇĆamaru to Palmerston

Dunedin City and South Otago

Alexandra and Central Lakes

Invercargill City and Southland

To find out more or to enrol in the Community Oral Health Service, please contact:

Otago: 0800 672 543  Email:
Southland: 0800 570 300 Email:

You can access any of our oral health services by getting in touch with any of our clinicians and discussing the care you need.

Government Funded/Subsidised Dental Care

Children up to age 13

Contact Details

  • Otago Phone

    0800 672 543

  • Southland Phone

    0800 570 300

  • Email


This page was last updated at 2:45PM on April 12, 2022. This information is reviewed and edited by Southern DHB Community Oral Health Service.